The projected gross harvest of grain crops in Ukraine in 2023 will decrease by 60% by 2021, oilseeds – by 15%. According to the association Ukrainian Club of Agrarian Business (UCAB), the gross grain harvest in 2023 may amount to 34 million tons, which is 37 % less than in 2022 and 60% less than in 2021. While the oilseed harvest is expected to reach 19.3 million tons, which is 13% more than in 2022 and 15% less than in 2021.
The reasons for the reduction in the grain harvest will be a decrease in the total sown area by 45% – to 8.7 million hectares, a change in the structure of crops in favor of oilseeds and a decrease in the yield of grain crops.
Of the 28.4 million hectares cultivated in 2021, as of December 2022, 24.6 million hectares of land (86% of the total territory) are located on the controlled territory of Ukraine (86% of the entire territory), of which it is impossible to carry out agricultural work on another 3.8 million hectares due to proximity to the line front, their contamination with mines and shells, etc.
In addition, the end of the sowing campaign for winter crops showed a significant reduction in sown areas – in 2022, 3.8 million hectares of winter crops were sown, which is 43% lower compared to 2021.
The reason for this, according to the association, is the limited ability to export crops, expensive logistics and, as a result, a significant difference in prices for crops by region.
Regions that are territorially close to seaports and borders with the EU have a higher price for products compared to regions in the north and east. So, in Transcarpathia, the price of 1 ton of corn with VAT is UAH 6,800, and in Sumy region – UAH 4,900. However, even in the western regions, the price is unprofitable. Therefore, proximity to the border with the EU and working ports determines the ability of the respective areas to continue grain production.
Next year, there will be an increase in the area under oilseeds due to their higher marginality compared to grain crops and a significant increase in the cost of grain logistics this year.
The price of oilseeds is 2 times higher than the prices of grain crops on the world market. The area under oilseeds is projected at 9.7 million hectares, which is 32% more than in 2022 and 9% more than in 2021. For the first time, the sown area under oilseeds will be larger than under grains.